Written by Nick Kukla
Delivered to Tim's family and friends following the Connecticut service
I wanted to share with all of you my last, real memory of Tim.
A group of us had gathered together at Rockaway beach towards the end of last summer. On a pure and perfect day, we picnicked, sunbathed, swam and talked together.
My clearest memory is of Tim and I swimming and surfing the waves. We would swim out into the Atlantic, wait for the largest waves, surrender our bodies to their force and let them take us into shore. This involved a quick dive the instant the crest of the wave descended upon us, and when we could pull it off, it would propel us all the way back to the beach. Once in the shallows, we would wade out to repeat the game again and again.
After some time, our friends headed in to catch the sun and dry off, while Tim and I stayed out in the ocean. I remember Tim somehow managed to attract a gang of little, belligerent kids. They decided to swim along with us, all the while teasing us about our sunburned, balding heads. Tim and I would wait for each wave, close our eyes and dive, riding them together. More often than not we collided into rocks or the shore bottom, the worn down pilings, sometimes even each other or the kids who kept following us around. It did not take much time to realize that the shimmer of Rockaway beach is mostly a thin carpet of broken glass in the water. It was no matter though, our cuts and bruises did not hold us back. Time stood still for us both and the sun and water held us in their sway. It was a time, among many, when Tim and I had fun.
Tim was someone with whom I could share these moments; he could immerse himself into everything he experienced and he inspired those around him with the extraordinary pleasure he took from exploration. The fascination the world held for him was paralleled only by his ability to interpret and understand it, to find meaning and communicate what he discovered. His confidence in his ideas engendered a voice in him that was at once both enlightening and deafening. I feel lucky to have had conversations with him, and I learned more from him than he was ever aware.
As a man, he was honest and direct, compassionate without pretense, and a person who cared deeply for his family and friends.
Tim and I shared our thoughts, we grew close and trusted one other and relied on each other when we were troubled. We created music together, we learned from each other, we talked of the future and laughed over the past. He was a person I truly loved and will truly miss. Across death, he remains: my bandmate, my brother and my friend.
I never knew his torment first-hand, but I hope now it is quiet, laid to rest in the dark, silent depths far beneath the waves that bore Tim and me. Deep below the tumult, I hope he is still, slow and calm. As he sleeps, I will remain here on these waves, with the comfort of knowing that he is not far from my heart.
So, sink down to rest, my friend. Know that when I am old and tired and ready for slumber, I will dive down to you. Wait for me brother, and I'll meet you then.